1 evisea. see
no. 37 R
Bulletin No. 37 New Series September, 1930
"Is In Florida Y
T. J. APPLEYARD, NA.. TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA
LORIDA XPERALPH STOUTAIRE STATION
FLORIDA BXP 2R, Il?^T STATION
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Nathan Mayo, Commissioner of Agriculture..................Tallahassee
T. J. Brooks, Assistant Commissioner................................Tallahassee
Phil S. Taylor, Supervising Inspector................................Tallahassee
Introduction ................................. 5
Breeds of M ilk Goats .......................... 6
Toggenburg .............................. 6
Saanen .................................. 7
Anglo-Nubian ............................ 8
French Alpine ............................ 9
Getting Started............. ................. 9
Breeding and Management ..................... 11
Pastures, Feeds and Feeding ................... 12
Raising Kids............................... 15
M ilking ...................... .............. 16
Shelter ...................................... 17
Fences ...................... .............. 18
Uses of Goat M ilk.............................. 18
Characteristics of Goat Milk.................... 20
Profits from Goat Farming .................... 21
Angora Goats.................................. 23
Common Goats............................. 24
Acknowledgments and Bibliography.............. 27
Goats In Florida
By Ralph Stoutamire
THE raising of goats in Florida is a minor livestock enter-
prise, though the interest in it is and has long been con-
siderable. Little experimental study of the industry has
been done in this state. This is the first Florida publication
on the subject, as far as known. Because of the lack of ex-
perimental information on goat raising as it applies to Florida,
much of the material contained herein is drawn from outside
sources. However, it has been adapted to conditions as they
exist in this state. The discussion includes the keeping of
goats for both milk and meat purposes, but mainly for the
Many countries of the old world have used large numbers
of goats since the earliest days of recorded history, utilizing
them in many ways-for meat, milk, beasts of burden, hair
for clothes and beds, etc. In America the greatest develop-
ment of the milk goat has taken place in California and the
southwestern states. Another goat-raising center is in Ten-
nessee and the eastern states bordering on the Appalachian
Mountains. A few herds are found, however, in nearly every
state, especially near large cities where there is usually a
special demand for goat milk.
The slowness with which the milk goat business has de-
veloped in this country is due mainly to three reasons: First
and most important, in contrast to the situation in Europe
milk is not produced on every homestead in America, but the
bulk of it is produced in large quantities on special farms,
collected and distributed by wholesalers and retailers. This
requires high-producing animals, which excludes the goat.
Second, quarantine laws against importing European goats,
for fear of foot and mouth disease and malta fever, have made
it discouraging to secure improved blood as a means of de-
veloping American goat herds. Third, the prejudice-deeply
founded-against the goat and the low value unfairly placed
upon its milk have kept interest in the animal at a low ebb.
The best natural conditions for goats are found in hilly or
mountainous regions where the climate is reasonably dry and
cool. They do not thrive so well on low, wet soils, generally.
However, some goats are sufficiently hardy and will adapt
themselves with more or less success to any sort of climate and
feed condition in the United States. On the open ranges of
Florida, and on sandy soils with fair drainage, many farmers
keep considerable numbers of goats with success and profit.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
BREEDS OF MILK GOATS
There are many breeds and types of milk goats, especially
in Switzerland and other European countries, but only three
breeds are numerous in the United States, other than the
native common goat. These are Toggenburg, Saanen and
Anglo-Nubian. The French Alpine breed is also making a fair
start. (Much of the information herein on breeds is from
Circular No. 111 of the of the Iowa Agricultural Experiment
Station, written by C. A. _Iini..\:, and Earl Weaver.)
Toggenburg: This breed originated in Switzerland and is
the most popular and numerous milk goat in the United States.
Fig. 1. Toggenburg buck. This is one of the leading breeds of Switzerland,
where it originated. Note the white and the absence of horns. The more
recent breed standards insist on solid color. Occasionally horns appear.
(Reproduction from publication of American Milk Goat Record Association.)
The prevailing color is a light brown or tan with considerable
white on the legs and underline. (The latest standard insists
on solid color all over.) It is generally a hornless breed, but
some individuals are found with horns. Both long and short
hair is common, and usually there is a beard. The breed
standard requires adult bucks to weigh from 150 to 175 pounds
and does from 100 to 135 pounds. The Toggenburg is favor-
GOATS IN FLORIDA
ably known as a milk-producing breed, with butterfat tests
ranging from 3.5 to 5 percent. The highest milk record for
the breed was made by Althea May in 1928 with 16 pounds
and 2 ounces of milk in 24 hours. At the University of Cali-
fornia a Toggenburg doe, Polly Mae, produced 4,350 pounds
of milk and 139 pounds of fat in a year.
- -I I ^ :
Fig. 2. Toggenburg doe. This breed is more numerous in America than
any of the milk goats. It holds a record of 4,350 pounds of milk and 138.56
pounds of butterfat in 12 months. The same doe gave 5,008 pounds of milk
and 161.31 pounds of butterfat In 15 months. (Reproduction from publica-
tion of American Milk Goat Record Association.)
Saanen: This is another popular breed from Switzerland
quite similar in conformation to the Toggenburg. Saanens
are white and cream in color and usually have short hair.
Although generally considered a hornless breed, horns are
often present. It is the largest of the Swiss breeds, the stand-
ard calling for bucks to weigh 180 pounds or more and does
135 pounds or more. Saanens rank with Toggenburgs in milk-
producing ability and percentage of butterfat. The doe
Panama Louise holds the record in 1928 for all breeds under
the rules of the American Milk Goat Record Association. She
produced 20 pounds and 11 ounces of milk in 24 hours.
8 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Anglo-Nubian: This breed originated along the shores of
northern Africa. It is thought to be the result of a cross be-
tween English does and Nubian bucks in the Mediterranean
region. There is no definite color for the breed, but dark
colors prevail, including black, tan, brown, red and any com-
bination of these with some white spots. The hair of both
does and bucks should be short and glossy. Most individuals
Fig. 3. Saanen buck. This is the largest of the Swiss breeds. It Is well
suited to all climates and ranges well or may be kept in a small area. It
results from centuries of the best thought, care and mating by the Swiss
people backed by governmental rules. (Reproduction from publication of
American Milk Goat Record Association.)
are hornless. The head of the Anglo-Nubian is rather large
and blunt, with Roman nose and long, drooping ears. The
size of the breed is large and rangy, the standard requiring
165 pounds or more for bucks and 125 pounds or more for
does. As a rule this breed does not produce as much milk as
Swiss breeds, but it has a higher percentage of fat, usually
testing more than 5 percent. The highest official record was
made by Spring Beauty Anderson with 10 pounds and 31/2
ounces of milk in 24 hours. The Anglo-Nubian breed is more
sensitive to cold weather than the two Swiss breeds. Due to
the fact that it was developed in a rather warm climate, it
ought to succeed in Florida and the coastal states.
GOATS IN FLORIDA
French Alpine: This breed is making a fair start in the
United States, but it is not numerous yet. Individuals are
medium in size with a color combination of white with black
or fawn. The lighter color predominates in the fore quarters
and under parts of the body, and the dark predominates ton
the back and rear quarters. French Alpines are similar in
conformation to the Swiss breeds, are hardy and are persistent
producers of milk with a good fat content.
Fig. 4. Saanen doe. To this breed goes the world's 24-hour record of 20
pounds and 11 ounces, as well as the record of 4,005.4 pounds in ten months
and two days. (Reproduction from publication of American Milk Goat
In starting in the goat business much depends upon the
amount of capital that can be invested. If one could begin by
buying a registered buck and several registered does, he could
sell breeding stock in a very short time and thus work himself
into an income quickly. But this is an expensive way to
begin. Another method would be to buy a good registered
buck and breed to a herd of common American does. In a
few years one might have a herd of high-grade milkers.
10 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
A buck should be selected from high-producing and persis-
tent-milking ancestors, especially on his mother's side. The
ability to produce good offspring should be an unquestioned
point in his sire's record. The buck himself should also be
a good individual in size and conformation. He should have
every indication and appearance of health and vigor and
should possess the color and other characteristics of his breed.
In selecting does care must be exercised that they have de-
sirable body conformation, somewhat similar to that of the
Fig. 5. Anglo-Nubian buck. This breed has been built up from crossing
Nubian bucks from African on native English does. Individuals usually are
tall, with drooping ears, without horns and of one or more different colors.
(Reproduction from publication of American Milk Goat Record Association.)
dairy cow. The correct body has well-sprung ribs and a deep
barrel which indicates large capacity for feed. Neck should
be thin, head smooth and neat. Top line should be long and
straight with long rump and wide-apart hip bones. The udder
itself should be well-developed, free from fleshiness, strongly
attached to the abdominal walls and rather globular in shape.
The teats should be symmetrical in shape and large enough
to be handled easily. The body conformation and the udder
described here go together; one indicates the other.
GOATS IN FLORIDA
BREEDING AND MANAGEMENT
Although does will breed when from six to eight months
of age, it is recommended that they be first bred at from 15
to 18 months. Early breeding leads to small individuals and
mediocre milkers. If it is particularly desirable to have a
milk supply throughout winter, some females may be bred at
from 12 to 15 months of age.
The doe usually comes in heat every 18 to 21 days. Although
Fig. 6. Anglo-Nubian doe. Her milk is usually very rich, which makes up,
partly at least, for the larger volume given by other breeds. It is often
spoken of as the "Jersey" of the goats. This breed is well adapted to either
range or stall feeding. (Reproduction from publication of American Milk
Goat Record Association.)
some does may come in heat at all periods of the year, there
is a tendency toward a distinct breeding season, between Au-
gust and February. The gestation period for goats is about 150
days; thus the greatest number of kids are born in spring and
early summer. A doe should have from six to eight weeks of
rest between lactation periods.
Keep pregnant does apart from the rest of the herd for two
or three weeks before kidding in order to prevent injuries
which may cause premature birth. Goats are subject to in-
12 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
fiction by the germ which causes abortion, or premature birth,
and as a precautionary measure any doe that does abort, as
well as all does at the time of kidding, should be separated
from the rest of the herd for a period. It is desirable to wash
the doe and to disinfect her quarters at time of kidding. A
little grain should be fed to pregnant does, and warm mashes
are desirable at kidding time. Garget, or caked udder, is most
likely to occur immediately after kidding. Difficulties in this
direction may be reduced by feeding less grain and more bran
mash and other laxative feeds for a few days before kidding.
In a few days the goat can be gradually brought up to a regu-
Does usually produce twins, although frequently three and
sometimes four kids are born at the same time. Twins are
more desirable because the young individuals are usually more
vigorous than those from larger litters.
Keep bucks separated from milking does, especially during
the breeding season when the former have such a strong, dis-
agreeable odor. If they are kept in or near the milking quar-
ters, the odors may be absorbed by and give an unpleasant
goatyy" flavor to the milk. If the bucks and does run to-
gether, the does are likely to carry some of this odor on their
coats and thereby impart an undesirable flavor to the milk.
Keeping bucks separated from does also prevents the possi-
bility of breeding does too young and makes it possible for
the owner to know the approximate time each doe will kid.
Young bucks should be bred sparingly. A vigorous buck
from six to twelve months of age may be used to breed a few
does. Bucks from 12 to 18 months old can be used to breed
about 25 does, while a mature buck can breed 50 does in a
PASTURES, FEEDS AND FEEDING
The Florida goat raiser should take advantage of the goat's
natural grazing instinct by providing plenty of pasture. Let
this constitute the main source of feed. In summer permanent
grass pastures may provide the bulk of the summer feed and
in some cases actually all of it. In winter rely on rye, oat
and leguminous grazing crops, supplementing with peavine
and beggarweed hay for the main flock. Only milkers, as a
rule, will need anything additional.
Do not lose sight of the fact that the goat is a natural
forager. Many farmers depend on their goats to keep down
briars and shrubs by browsing. However, especially in the
case of the pure breeds, leave this to the bucks. Vacant town
lots might supply an appreciable volume of grazing for a few
goats, if seeded to grasses and properly managed.
GOATS IN FLORIDA 13
Like dairy cows, milking does, on official test and making
high records, should receive all they want to eat of a legumi-
nous hay-such as alfalfa, peavine or beggarweed-and a
succulent roughage, such as silage or roots. Non-leguminous
roughage may be fed with the expectation of poorer returns.
Of course, it is necessary at times for the keeper of goats
to supply some grain or concentrate feed. The same funda-
mental principles of feeding milk cows apply to feeding milk
goats. Also feeds suitable for the one are suitable for the
other. It is estimated that six or eight goats can be kept on
the amount of feed required by one cow.
Fig. 7. French Alpine doe. This breed came originally from Switzerland.
but has been bred many years in France. It has no regular color. Does are
persistent milkers but the breed has only a fair start in this country. (Re-
production from publication of American Milk Goat Record Association.)
When it comes to grain or other concentrate, feed accord-
ing to milk production. That is, if you are getting lots of
milk, feed lots of concentrate. When milk production is low,
cut down on the concentrate. A grain mixture (which, re-
member, is to supplement pasturage and other roughage)
might consist, by weight, of 4 parts of ground corn, 2 parts of
ground oats, 2 parts of bran and 1 part of a high protein con-
centrate, such as linseed meal, gluten meal or cottonseed meal.
To feed along with mixed hay, use a concentrate mixture of
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
4 parts of ground corn, 2 parts of ground oats, 2 parts of bran
and 3 parts of high protein concentrate. Where no leguminous
roughage is fed, the mixture should consist of equal parts of
ground corn, bran, ground oats and a high protein concentrate.
Numerous substitutions may be made in these mixtures. A
part or all of the ground corn may be replaced by an equal
weight of corn-and-cob meal or rolled or ground barley. Bran
may be substituted for a part or all of the ground oats or for
one-third of the corn and one-third of the oats. The goat
raiser must take into consideration what various feed ingredi-
ents cost on his particular markets, though cost is not the sole
factor to consider. As far as practicable utilize home-grown
Fig. 8. Kids make affectionate playmates, able to offer stiff competition in
this respect to lambs and puppies.
A mineral supplement, such as equal parts of steamed bone
meal and finely ground limestone, mixed with 2 parts of salt,
is advisable to feed with the grain for milking does, particu-
larly for those receiving no alfalfa or peavine hay. This ought
to be accessible to the does at all times. Milk goats need
access also to plenty of clean, fresh water.
Grain is usually fed twice daily and at the time of milking.
As said before, this should be in proportion to the milk given.
A doe that is producing heavily might well be fed grain at
the rate of 1 pound for every 3 to 7 pounds of milk, the avail-
able pasturage or roughage influencing the amount of grain.
GOATS IN FLORIDA 15
Remember, the does should have all the pasture, hay and
succulent roughage they will readily consume.
Feed hay in a rack or in a large feed box with slats over
the top to prevent waste, or in stanchions similar to those
for calves. Milk goats frequently are fastened for feeding
hay. Feed silage and such roots as turnips after milking in
order to prevent bad flavors in the milk.
During the breeding season it may be advisable to give the
buck some grain each day in addition to a generous allowance
of hay and silage or roots and pasturage.
Remember that with goats pasturage constitutes the main
source of feed. It is just about the whole thing except in the
case of milkers of the pure breeds, and with them it should
be the major element, at least in this state.
It is a frequent practice to
allow kids to nurse their
dams. They are put with the
- dam and allowed to nurse
three or four times daily.
Kids raised in such .a man-
S.,ner require little attention
N I tf ll, and make good growth.
e.. .,i, \ Many kids are 'raised by
hand. Kids to be raised by
S hand should be allowed to
nurse their dams from two
to five days in order to ob-
tain the benefits of the
colostrum milk. Young kids
.a--''-3,._ \, s _. _- may be taught to drink from
S,, "a bottle or from a tank
equipped with nipples, or
they may be taught to drink
Fig. 9. A self-feeder like this will from pans or troughs. Some
go a long way toward solving the can be taught to drink at the
kid-feeding problem. Cow milk, start while others have to be
which Is not as expensive as goat bottle-fed for a month or two.
milk, may be used satisfactorily. e for th helt
It is essential for the health
of the kids that all utensils used be kept clean and well
sterilized. Scalding is an effective and practical manner of
Kids less than a month old are very delicate. Precautions
should be taken that they, or even older kids, be kept in dry,
comfortable quarters and not allowed to be out in rainy
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
weather. Pneumonia in young kids is often caused by such
Feed hand-fed kids three times daily for about two weeks
and twice a day thereafter. The kids require at first from 11/2
to 2 pounds of milk per day. Cow milk is sometimes used
Kids also can be raised successfully on skim milk. The
change from whole milk to skim milk should be made gradu-
ally. After the change 2 or 3 pounds are fed daily. The kids
may be weaned at three or four months of age, but many
breeders prefer not to wean them until they are five months
old. They can then be maintained on pasture, peavine hay
Doe and buck kids should be separated at an early age, as
young does may come in heat at four or five months of age.
It is not advisable to let them breed so early.
Fig. 10. The last word in a milking stand. Note cracks in floor. Also note
,the comfortable (to the person who does the milking) height of the stand.
(Courtesy Vitality Milk Goat Dairy, Memphis, Tenn.)
Because of the small size of milk goats, they are usually
milked upon milking stands from 1% to 21/2 feet high. These
are equipped with a stanchion at one end and with some sort
of a manger for feeding grain. (See figure 10.) With the
exception of a few high producers, most does are milked twice
a day. The does may be milked from the side, as cows are,
or they may be milked from the rear. Thorough, regular milk-
ing helps to keep production up to the end of the lactation
Milk in a pen or yard separated from the regular herd, if
best quality milk is expected. This may be in another build-
ing or out of doors or in a special partitioned-off place in the
stable. Brush off the doe and wash her udder with a damp
GOATS IN FLORIDA
cloth before milking, so as to collect and remove dust and dry
foreign matter that might otherwise fall into the milk. If
milk produced under such conditions is promptly cooled to
below 500 Fahrenheit and kept in clean containers, it will not
have disagreeable flavors and will keep as well as cow milk
under ordinary conditions.
Quarters for many milk goats frequently are adaptations
of buildings already on hand. There are many varied and
ingenious arrangements. It is important, however, that quar-
ters be clean, dry, well-ventilated and not dark, so arranged
that they can be easily cleaned and disinfected. Does may
be tied in stalls by means of chains snapped into the collars,
which are frequently worn, or they may be kept in small box
stalls. In many localities goats are kept tied up very little
and are allowed freedom in sheds, other sheltered inclosures
or in pastures. Except for the purpose of keeping the stalls
dry, little bedding is needed. Goats do not care to rest upon
Much of the above applies to Florida conditions only in the
case of imported individuals that have not become acclimated.
Here shelter and housing are small problems, because of the
infrequency of weather requiring such protection. However,
provision for shelter should be made, because we do have some
rainy weather in winter. And do not forget that the young
kids are very delicate and that it does not take much exposure
to cold rains to injure them, perhaps fatally. In this part of
the country a shed or roof to keep off rain-particularly in
winter-and to provide some shade in midsummer is sufficient.
A bench or old floor upon which they may sleep or rest is
appreciated by goats. They want no bedding; just the bare
Of course, the Florida man, as well as anyone else, who
would produce goat milk for the purpose of selling on any
appreciable scale must provide milking shelter and stands,
milk houses and certain other essential dairy equipment. A
milking stand serves not only to enable the milker to work
with greater comfort but also to help keep the milk clean.
Some kind of house or room is necessary to keep milking
utensils and to store and cool the milk.
Below are suggestions by a practical milk goat man:
"Nail a steel wire brush on the wall of the goat house at
the height of the goat's side. This is for scratching. Nail
another on a two-by-four that extends out from the wall at
the height of a goat's back. This the animal walks under to
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
scratch its back. Ours wear out four sets of brushes a year
and they surely do enjoy the scratching.
"Make a salt shrine on the wall with just one hole in it so
the goat will think it is stealing something.
"Use the key-hole style hay manger. Build the bench all
the way around the walls of the house, 4 feet wide and 2 feet
high, in sections. Floor it with slats, leaving small cracks so
dust and dirt will fall through. Leave the center of the floor,
which should be of concrete, slightly lower than other parts."
Inclosures for goats are usually fenced with ordinary four-
or five-foot stock woven wire fence. Do not use barbed wire.
Common chicken wire would soon be cut to pieces by goat
hoofs. Goats have a habit of climbing up on fences, especially
if confined in small inclosures or near a gate. For such a
place five-foot vertical wooden palings would be advantageous
over woven wire fencing.
Because of the goat's ability to get over fences and into
fields and pastures he has won much of his present unpopu-
larity. It will hop upon a stump close beside a fence and from
there jump over the fence into whatever may be on the other
side. This may be prevented by simply driving three or four
pegs about a foot in length into the top of the stump. Re-
move its standing room on the stump and this point of trouble
is at an end.
USES OF GOAT MILK
Milk, we are told, is the natural food, the most nearly bal-
anced and the most digestible. From many sources we are ad-
vised that goat milk is even better than cow milk as a food,
particularly for delicate systems. This is mainly due, it is
thought, to the fact that fat globules in goat milk are smaller
than in cow milk. This smaller fat globule enables the diges-
tive fluids to more nearly surround and more quickly and
easily dissolve the fat. Also the casein forms a finer, more
flocculent curd in the stomach which makes it more easily
digested. These are particular advantages, it is said, in the
cases of infants and invalids.
In old countries the goat has always provided the chief
source of milk. It was domesticated long before the cow and
has been kept for its milk by Europeans as far back as written
history goes. It is still popular in most countries of Europe
and provides the chief source of milk for most families in
some countries. It is said that in one country, where the
people use goat milk almost exclusively, not a case of tuber-
GOATS IN FLORIDA 19
culosis has been known in a hundred years, due, it is thought,
to the fact that the goat is seldom ever attacked by this
Most goat milk in this country is produced for direct con-
Fig. 11. The goat is as versatile as he is humble. You see him here being
put to a common and practical use, providing wholesome sport for young
people. These children are having a royally good time, and at a cost of but
a few dollars.
sumption by families who do not have room for or who cannot
afford a cow. Some of our physicians often recommend it for
infants and invalids. As the goat is rarely troubled with in-
fectious diseases, its milk is thus unusually safe for babies
and weakened older persons, provided of course it is properly
cared for and fed.
Interesting food for thought on this subject is furnished by
Harry J. Smith of Vitality Goat Dairy, Memphis, Tenn., who
writes in answer to inquiry: "We are having wonderful re-
sults with tuberculosis and ulcered stomach cases as well as
with babies. There is no telling how many we are feeding
now, as we have the best retail dairy here to deliver for us.
We get our biggest kick out of driving around on Sundays
and seeing our patients. We are now feeding seven cases free
and one of them uses two and a half quarts a day. But the
more we give away-that is, for people who really need it-
the more we sell."
Much has been said about the natural advantages of Florida
from a health standpoint. These advantages are so well recog-
nized throughout the nation that many people come to the
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
state to regain their health. As a consequence, it is not un-
reasonable to predict the establishment here in the future of
special sanitariums or health institutions. Because of the
supposed superior digestive quality of goat milk, it is not any
more unreasonable to predict the fairly extensive raising of
milk goats near the hospitals or sanitariums as a means of
supplying the demands of impaired or weakened digestive
systems. Here is encouragement for the man who would raise
milk goats in this state. However, it is not likely that immedi-
ate demands-or the demands of the next few years-will
justify any special excitement on the part of the goat men.
Much goat milk is used in Europe in the manufacture of
cheese. For such it may be used alone or mixed with cow
milk. It makes a fine quality of cheese, owing to the way in
which the casein coagulates, to the small fat globules and to
its peculiar flavor. Cheese from goat milk bears a large
variety of names, but in this country Neufchatel and Roque-
fort are the principal names applied to it.
A limited amount of condensed goat milk is produced and
put on the market. It is largely for use in infant feeding.
Goat milk also may be used in the manufacture of icecream
and sherbet. This is a home use for the milk.
Goat milk is not adapted for the making of butter. It makes
butter of a different texture than that from cow milk. It is
more difficult to churn. The fat is very white. As goat milk
usually sells for more than cow milk, the butter would cost
CHARACTERISTICS OF GOAT MILK
Goat milk, like cow milk, varies with the breed, stage of
lactation and individuality of the animal producing it. Varia-
tions either way are to be expected from the averages given
below for its composition. Goat milk more closely resembles
cow milk than it does sheep milk. In the following table the
average analysis of goat milk reported by Voorhies is com-
pared to the average analysis of cow milk as reported by
AVERAGE COMPOSITION OF MILK
From the Cow From the Goat
Water -----------..............-............-.... 87.17% 86.09%
Protein ---------------.............-............ 3.55% 3.55%
Fat .--..-........-.....--.-----------......-- 3.69% 4.79%
Sugar ................-------------.............. 4.88% 4.85%
Ash .........-------------.........-----............. .71% .72%
GOATS IN FLORIDA 21
Because the fat globules of goat milk are small, the cream
rises very slowly. In fact, gravity systems of separation are
out of the question. It has been noticed that in digestion in
the human stomach the casein in goat milk forms a finer, more
flocculent curd than that in cow milk. This is why, it is
thought, that infants and invalids are sometimes better able
to digest goat milk than cow milk, as said above.
Goat milk produced under clean conditions does not have
an unpleasant goatyy" flavor and odor, although it does have
a flavor different from that of cow milk. The buck may be
a source of bad flavor or odor in the milk, if he is not kept
separated from the doe and milking quarters. There is no
difference in the keeping qualities of goat milk and cow milk.
PROFITS FROM GOAT FARMING
It is not likely that the goat will ever compete seriously
with the dairy cow as a milk producer in America. On a basis
of proportionate live weight the best quality does are as effi-
cient producers of milk as dairy cows. A good doe should
produce from eight to fifteen times her own weight in milk
during the lactation period. The producing ability of the doe
is usually measured by her number of quarts per day, and
the record is usually for the largest amount of milk she pro-
duces when fresh. Two quarts or more per day is necessary
to make any profit. Especially good does have produced six
quarts a day. One that produces only three pints a day is not
likely to be profitable. A good doe is a persistent milker, and
she continues to produce with a fair yield for from six to nine
months a year.
In most cases milk can be produced on a commercial scale
much cheaper from dairy cows, taking all the costs into con-
sideration. The hope for profit in the sale of goat milk must
be found under conditions where it will sell at a considerable
advance in price over the standard for cow milk. In general,
it is likely that it would be necessary to sell goat milk at
from 50 to 100 percent more than cow milk in order to make
any profit. Most milk goats are in small herds. Sometimes
only one is kept to produce milk for family use. A few goats
may be kept economically on rough land and on feeds which
might otherwise be wasted. Goats, being good foragers, will
do fairly well on rough range land where dairy cows probably
Many herds of milk goats have been established in Florida
from time to time in the past. Some have done well while
others have failed. Some have had to be disposed of for various
reasons before they had a fair chance to succeed. Dr. W. P.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Link, Tampa veterinarian, kept a fairly large herd of both
Swiss and Nubian breeds for a number of years. He made
excellent exhibits of his stock for several years at the South
Florida Fair. He is now out of the business, however, due to
the difficulty of keeping goats under city land conditions.
Dr. Edith N. Parsons, living at DeLand, has worked for
a few years with a small herd of Swiss goats. She has striven
to aid her community by making available a specially high
quality milk. Dr. Parsons has an excellent small group of
animals, and she has the buildings and facilities for properly
handling an enterprise of this kind. She has no animals for sale,
but is always glad to have interested persons visit and inspect
Bennett Land in Orange County has a family-size flock of
Swiss goats on his farm. His family consumes most of the
milk, but a surplus is sold to good advantage to a sanitarium
in the vicinity.
The physicians of the state probably need a keener apprecia-
tion of the true quality and value of goat milk in the diet of
infants and invalids. Now perhaps is as good a time as any to
bring this to their attention. Many local medical practitioners
seem to pay no thought to goat milk, or they at least labor under
the impression that no milk of this kind is available in Florida.
Here is work for the goat owners-a chance for a little personal
work and advertising. In those counties of Florida where there
has been established a medical milk commission for the certify-
ing of milk supplies, it would be an easy matter to secure
co-operation in producing and marketing approved goat milk.
In localities where no milk commissions exist or where no such
city ordinances apply, the State Board of Health has authority
to control such matters and to issue statements as to the purity
of the milk supply.
From the experiences of pioneer breeders in Florida who
have tried to introduce milk goats, anyone desiring to enter
the goat dairy business should carefully count the cost before
making any heavy investment. And be sure at the outset of
a good market. Infants and invalids, as said already, and
certain hospitals make most of the demands for goat milk and
always will in America.
Prices for milk goats range all the way from $10 for does
of unknown breeding and milking capacity up to $100 or even
$200 for registered animals of known ability. Of course, just
ordinary goats can be bought for less even than $10. But
anyone who hopes to do better than ordinary must buy better
than ordinary blood.
Registration of milk goats is handled by the American Milk
GOATS IN FLORIDA
Goat Record Association with headquarters at Vincennes, In-
diana. Will L. TeWalt is secretary of this organization.
Two magazines are published in the interest of milk goats-
the "Goat World" at Vincennes, Indiana, and the "Dairy
Goat Journal" at Fairbury, Nebraska.
The Angora goat originated in Asia Minor and has been
distributed to nearly all parts of the world. They were first
brought to America in 1849 and were distributed first in the
Fig. 12. There are few Angoras in Florida. They apparently do not thrive
under local conditions, though it is doubtful if anyone has ever given them
a real chance.
Carolinas, Georgia and Tennessee. From there they spread to
The Angora also seems to succeed best on hilly and moun-
tainous land. At present large numbers of them are found in
Texas, New Mexico, California and other southwestern states.
The fleece of the Angora is known as mohair, and it is longer
and stronger than the wool of sheep. The amount of fleece
secured is somewhat less than from sheep, but it brings a much
higher price, occasionally three times that of wool.
The Angora is medium or small in size, weighing from 60
to 100 pounds. Both sexes have horns and are able to protect
24 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
themselves from enemies better than sheep and most other
breeds of goats. One great use of the Angora is for clearing
off brush land, as it is naturally a browsing animal and will
destroy young trees and brush very effectively.
The adaptation of the Angora to Florida conditions does
not seem especially good from past efforts. It does best in a
dry climate; rainy, warm weather seems against its nature.
Considerable numbers have been brought to this state from
Texas and Tennessee, but they do not seem to thrive as well
as in cooler regions. Trouble with both external and internal
parasites is more likely to occur, and foot-rot is more common
on wet soils.
Fig; 13. These Angoras, ranging with native goats, are among the very
few ever seen in Florida by the author. Owned by Jonah Britt, Leon County.
Prices for a registered Angora buck, or doe, are rather high,
ranging from $40 to $100 each for fair individuals. Some
breeders have attempted to cross the Angora with the common
goat, but without much success. If you contemplate investing
in Angoras, be careful as to the exact purpose you have in
mind. Limit the amount of money you spend in securing breed-
ing stock until you gain experience or knowledge along this
Registration of Angora goats is handled by the American
Angora Goat Breeders' Association, of which G. E. De Groff,
Sabinal, Texas, is secretary.
There are more common, native goats in the woods and on
the ranges of Florida, as well as most other southern states,
than there are of all other types combined. They are small in
GOATS IN FLORIDA 25
size, are hardy and thrive well under adverse conditions. In
most cases they get nothing to eat beyond what they find on
the open ranges, and ordinarily their shelter consists of the
gifts of Providence. A few owners provide a little care during
Some claim that the common goat is a degenerate descendant
of some of the breeds of milk goats brought to this country
during colonial days and allowed to run wild. Many flocks in
Florida show the same color markings as the brown and tan
Toggenburgs. Some of the does among these herds have fairly
large udders and would undoubtedly produce a quart or more
of milk a day, if properly fed and handled. Many could be
used to advantage for family milk purposes, or by people who
especially need goat milk for their infants and invalids.
Prof. C. H. Willoughby, of the animal husbandry depart-
ment of the Florida College of Agriculture, relates the unique
Fig. 14. The farmer who owns this herd of common goats keeps them solely
for browsing off briars. Owned by Dixie Jones, Alachua County.
practice of a south Georgia stock farmer in this connection.
It happened that this Georgian kept in close touch with his
neighboring physician. When the medical man had an ailing
patient and saw fit to prescribe goat milk, this enterprising
stockman, being quickly informed, lost no time in seeing the
family of the ailing and offering to rent a fine milk goat for
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
the duration of the need. He naturally made the point, in his
well-prepared sales or rental talk, that nothing would be bet-
ter for the health of the loved one than the presence on the
homestead of a nice, healthy milk goat from which fresh quan-
tities of superior milk might be drawn at almost any hour of
the day, or night. This man's business, so the story goes, was
Most common goats in Florida, however, are used for meat
production. The flesh of the young kid is very palatable and
can scarcely be distinguished from mutton. In fact, it is
quite likely-at least assumed-that much of the meat we
buy as "mutton" or many of the "lamb chops" served us in
restaurants are nothing more than the flesh of goats. How-
ever, as long as the quality is fully equal to that of mutton,
what harm is done? Many persons who are exacting in their
choice of meat actually demand goat meat-sometimes spoken
of on the market as "chevon"-in preference to mutton or
beef. If the animal is in good condition, if the butchering is
done right and if the meat is properly cared for, it is a very
nice food product.
A number of farmers in various parts of the state have paid
considerable attention to goat herds and have built up a good
demand for the meat among the butchers and special customers
of their localities. This is probably the best opportunity for
use of our hardy, native goats at present.
The main need of this industry is to secure a strain or breed
that will produce a larger carcass than the small animals now
prevalent in the state. No breed of goat has been found that
is particularly and especially recommended for large size and
meat production. Perhaps the Anglo-Nubian and the Saanen
breeds could supply bucks that would perceptibly increase the
size of our ordinary native goats. The milk-producing char-
acteristic could be disregarded, if the owner wished to pro-
duce meat only. There is much waste land in this part of the
country and perhaps here is an inviting field for the man who
is interested in raising goats.
Skinner Brothers for a number of years owned large numbers
of native goats on the range south of the St. Johns River, across
from Jacksonville, and marketed them at fair prices in that city.
Dempsey Brock of Vernon, Washington County, has kept large
flocks of both sheep and goats for many years and usually finds
a good market for all their products. He reports that the use
of thoroughbred Angora bucks on native goats remarkably in-
creases the size of the first cross. The clip (or mohair) from
high-grade Angora offspring (as high as three-quarters Angora
blood) has been sold readily at wool prices.
GOATS IN FLORIDA
A number of shipments of goats from northern and western
Florida have been made in the last three years to the markets of
New York and Philadelphia, at certain seasons of the year when
the demand for this meat is strong. Removing some of the
decks in a poultry car and shipping the native goats in multiple
decks has been found a satisfactory and economical method.
Official estimates for July 1, 1927, place the number of goats
in Florida on that date as 44,860 and gave them a value of
slightly more than a dollar a head. Liberty County headed the
list in number of goats at that time. It had 7,869. However,
persons in position to know think this was too high. They
are of the opinion that there are not more than half this
number of goats in that county at the present time. Other
counties with a thousand or more follow: Escambia, 3,099;
Santa Rosa, 2,799; Jackson, 2,746; Hillsborough, 2,404; Wash-
ington, 1,780; Columbia, 1,674; Calhoun, 1,657; Marion, 1,570;
Levy, 1,288; Holmes, 1,199; Walton, 1,145; Union, 1,113; Su-
wannee, 1,076; Okaloosa, 1,068.
The goat's chief enemy is the dog. It seems that in some
parts of the country there are as many or more dogs as goats
or sheep. Many of them belong to people who do not pay
any particular attention to what they do or do not do, people
who give no consideration to their neighbors' welfare, and
farmers know that these dogs invariably get into "goat kill-
ing" or "sheep killing." Such dogs should be killed the same
as the fox that preys on chickens. A heavy dog tax, if en-
forced, would quickly and effectively eliminate the worthless
dog and render a real service to the sheep and goat raisers.
With the control of the dog situation and a little encourage-
ment, many Florida farmers who have plenty of range or
pasture should, with a few goats, develop quite an industry in
selling the carcasses for meat.. Goat skins can often be sold,
fresh or tanned, to leather factories.
No particular part of Florida is suggested as being particu-
larly adapted for goat production. If you care to produce
milk or meat to sell, naturally you will desire to locate near
the best markets, which are the larger cities.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS AND BIBLIOGRAPHY
In preparing this bulletin much valuable help has been re-
ceived from Prof. C. H. Willoughby, of the Florida College of
Agriculture; from Harry J. Smith of Vitality Goat Dairy,
Memphis, Tenn., and from Circular No. 111 of the Iowa State
Experiment Station. Dr. A. L. Shealy of the Florida Agricul-
tural Experiment Station and Prof. H. L. Brown of the Florida
28 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Agricultural Extension Service have read the manuscript and
made many suggestions which have been incorporated.
Following is a partial list of books and pamphlets on goats
which the interested person might study to advantage:
Milk Goats, Circular No. 111, (1928) Iowa Agricultural Experiment
Station, Ames, Iowa.
The Book of the Goat, by H. S. H. Pegler, published by L. Upton
Gill, 170 Strand, London. (1909).
Care and Management of the Milk Goat, by E. C. Voorhies; exten-
sion service circular No. 6 (1926), California Agricultural Experiment
Station, Berkeley, Cali.
Goat's Milk for Infant Feeding, by W. H. Jordan and G. A. Smith;
bulletin No. 429 (1917), New York Agricultural Experiment Station,
Geneva, N. Y.
Information Concerning Common Goats, by G. F. Thompson; cir-
cular No. 42 (1903), Bureau of Animal Industry, United States Depart-
ment of Agriculture, Washington, D. C.
Information Concerning Milch Goats, by G. F. Thompson, bulletin
No. 68 (1905), Bureau of Animal Industry, United States Department
of Agriculture, Washington, D. C.
Some Milk Goat Problems Observed in California, by W. Dwight
Pierce; special publication No. 22 (1922), California State Department
of Agriculture, Sacramento, Cali.
Modern Milk Goats, by Irmagarde Richards, published by J. B. Lip-
pincott Co, Philadelphia and London (1921).